Events with Local and Independent Authors
Napa Bookmine loves our local authors, and supports writers who publish independently. In an effort to make sure local and independent voices are head, we host multi-author events for writers who qualify to ensure strong attendance and increased outreach. If you would like to be considered for one of our Local and Independent Author events, please complete this form and send us a review copy of your book, or drop it by the store. Our address is 964 Pearl St., Napa, CA 94559. If you do not submit a review copy of your book, you will not be considered for an event at Napa Bookmine.
A Local and Independent Author event involves 2-4 authors (some exceptions may be made).
We will provide the following in support of your event:
E-mail newsletter to over 1,700 customers.
Event pages on our website and Facebook page.
Staffing and venue for your event.
Twitter and Instagram advertising
Local and Independent Author Event Guidelines:
The author will provide books at a 45% consignment discount
Napa Bookmine will handle all book sales during the event.
The author must take all remaining unsold books, unless Napa Bookmine requests to keep copies on hand.
The author is expected to promote their event on their own social media platforms. Napa Bookmine has a presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and requests the author tag us in all social media posts about the event.
Authors who link to IndieBound as well as or instead of Amazon on their promotional materials are highly preferred.
Local authors who have shown their support for Napa Bookmine by shopping at our stores and/or attending our events are highly preferred.
Napa Bookmine will consider all event requests but cannot accommodate everyone.
Please note that responses may take a couple months; if you are looking to schedule something within two months of your application, please email firstname.lastname@example.org informing her of your shortened timeline.
Thank you for your cooperation!
The Events Team at Napa Bookmine
If you need some helpful pointers on how to work successfully with indepedent bookstores for an author event, please read this excellent article from Shelf Awareness, reporting on a panel on this topic at BookExpo 2019:
BookExpo 2019: Authors and Indies Working Together
Moderated by Emma Straub--who has an unusual perspective because she is both an author and a bookseller (co-owner of Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.)--the panel "For Authors: Working Successfully with Independent Bookstores" focused primarily on how booksellers and authors can work together to hold successful events. It quickly became apparent that, as Kelly Estep of Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, Ky., put it, there is "a gold standard" for authors working well with bookstores on events: David Sedaris. He is famous and beloved for spending hours at signings, patiently talking with every fan until late into the night, sometimes for five or six hours; working well with booksellers; often recommending titles by another author; and sending thank-you notes and cards after events.
Focusing on what to do before the event, Estep recommended that authors, especially local authors, have "a relationship with us" beforehand, and, if they're not from the area, they should provide all kinds of information about a proposed event, including any local ties and friends and family in the area who would likely attend the event. "We want you to feel a connection with us and us to feel a connection with you," which, with the author promoting the store, and the store doing the same with the author's work, should last long after the event. She noted that many indies have programs set up outlining how they do events in which "they lay out what they expect from you and vice versa." Also authors need to be prepared for their events, and work out with booksellers whether they will do a reading, discussion, signing, socializing or some combination of those approaches.
Among other things authors can do in advance of an event is to partner with an indie on pre-orders with signed copies, and in social media, link to the indie and IndieBound.
Jenny Cohen of Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, Ore., focused on how authors can work well with booksellers on school events. Noting that she "stacks" school events one after the other on a given day, punctuality is important (as is "making sure you know where you're going if you're driving yourself"). Similarly, it's important to plan presentations ahead of time so that booksellers can let teachers know about the details of the event. Among other effective school presentations are slide shows or talks about the path to publishing the book. (Straub noted that in general, authors should not read extensively from their book "unless they have a truly beautiful accent and have won 17 Pulitzer Prizes.")
Another tip: Cohen suggested authors bring bookmarks to school events, so that interested children who don't buy books on site can give them to parents to buy books later in the store. ("There aren't necessarily a lot of sales the day of the visit, but more afterward.") She also advised authors use social media to promote their school visits beforehand so that fans who can't get into schools can pick up books at the store. And in many cases, stores will ship copies to fans who can't come to the event or store and learn about it online.
Alyson Turner of Source Booksellers, Detroit, Mich., focused on what to do during the event, emphasizing that the author should arrive on time "so the event can start when it's promoted to start." The program should be discussed in detail beforehand. At Source Booksellers, she noted, the best events begin with an introduction of the author, "20 minutes of book talk," possibly a short reading from the book, "maybe say a little about how you came to write the book," followed by questions from the audience. (Source Booksellers gives questioners numbers "so they're not all seeking to be called on each time the floor's open to questions.") After the q&a period, the selling (and signing) begins. The store likes to have events run an hour to an hour and a half.
Turner noted even if an event is "sparsely attended, it's still an opportunity for the author to connect with everyone there"--and an opportunity for booksellers to learn things that will be helpful for handselling later.
Jake Cumsky-Whitlock from Solid State Books, Washington, D.C., stressed that after the event, "the author should be among the last to leave and should fight off the urge to run off to dinner with old friends, even if that's scheduled." They should spend time with the people who came to the event: "That personal touch goes a long way."
It's important to thank the staff for all the work they did for the event, he continued, and "it's great for the author to buy a book or product from the store to show support." If the store has a bar or café, he suggested authors have a drink to get to know the staff better. He added that "if authors go the extra mile" thanking and making connections with booksellers, booksellers will do more to sell their books.
After the event, on social media, authors should "direct people to the store for signed copies of the book," share pictures from the event and link directly to the store. --John Mutter